An early sound film adventure/melodrama in which a dirigible expedition to the South Pole is complecated by a love triangle. Surprisingly good production values and visual FX for a Tiffany production. However the audio FX are very primitive.
Directed by Edward Sloman.
Released in 1929.
May 18, 2014
A Hoary Little Film
A very early sound film, released in late 1929 was a mish-mash of sound, silent with musical parts and outlandish sound effects and a very noisy soundtrack in parts as well, which I found very distracting. This is a "woman's picture" weepy plain and simple, full of over the top weepiness and female hysteria by the leading lady, Virginia Valli, who had been a big star in silents through the 20's but who failed to make the transition to sound with any success. This was her last film appearance. She would go on to be the "hostess with the mostest" for many years in Palm Springs CA as the wife of Charles Farrell.
Conway Tearle, a major star in silents would make the transition to sound quite well and appeared in many films through the 30's. He's quite good and he has the stuffed shirt older man/hero role down quite well. Richardo Cortez also a major star in silents and early sound pictures as well is just horrible in this picture. He would leave pictures for a long while but would return for one last role in John Ford's "The Last Hurrah" in 1958 in which he is superior.
This production was based on the true 1925 crash of the "Italia", written by Jack Natteford who would go on to be a major writer of "B' Westerns. The 1931 Columbia picture "Dirigible" directed by Frank Capra and starring Jack Holt, while also based on the "Italia" incident, is a superior picture in every way. Watch that if you can find it. Skip this one unless you want to see just how primitive early sound was, and how bad acting could be. Buffs only.